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Multinational companies’ cash conversion cycle continues to shrink, driven by improvements in days payables outstanding (DPO), according to this year’s “U.S. Working Capital Survey” by The Hackett Group. The study examined the 2017 annual reports from the 1,000 largest non-financial companies that have headquarters in the United States. The cash conversion cycle for these organizations is currently 33.8 days, a 4 percent improvement over 2016.

The largest companies have achieved even better results for working capital: Among the 20 biggest companies in the study by annual revenue, the median cash conversion cycle is just five days. (And because these companies have the largest portfolios of payables, inventory, and receivables, their outstanding working capital results skew the overall results; The Hackett Group’s calculation of the cash conversion cycle across all 1,000 companies is considerably tighter than the same statistic for the median company in the study.)

“If we remove the oil-and-gas sector, the cash conversion cycle has been shrinking, so improving, for six years now,” says Craig Bailey, associate principal at The Hackett Group.  “Organizations continue to extend the payment terms on their payables.” From 2016 to 2017, DPO lengthened from 53.5 days to 56.7 days.

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